The Russian book publishing market "is preparing for tough times this year as the ongoing military conflict in Ukraine and sanctions against the Russian government put significant pressure on the sector," the Bookseller reported, citing Russian trade magazine Book Industry's report on 2022 figures, which put the total market in excess of ₽90 billion (about $1.1 billion), a rise of 7.5% over 2021.
The digital market as a whole "has coped with the departure of strong foreign players and still amounts to around 12% of the turnover of printed books," at ₽10.9 billion (about $134 million), Book Industry noted.
The majority of local book publishers and analysts "believe the strength of the market in 2022 was a carry-over from pre-war activities," the Bookseller wrote, adding that "this year many of them expect a serious drop, although much will depend on the future situation in Russia and its economy."
Alexei Ilyin, CEO of the Alpina Publishing group, one of Russia's leading book publishers, said, "The situation has changed dramatically. More than half of foreign copyright holders have ceased co-operation. Because of this, publishers have sharply reduced the ability to form a portfolio, and some of the books from their current portfolio have begun to drop out of the lists. The cost of production has risen sharply: the price of printing services has increased by an average of 30% and paper by 20%. Meanwhile publishers cannot fully compensate for their cost rises by increasing prices as the purchasing power of people has significantly declined in recent months.... At the same time, the market collapse which many expected in March and April 2022 has not happened yet. The entire industry has demonstrated a very high level of adaptability."
He added that the future of the market is difficult to predict because "everything will depend on the development of the political and economic situation in the country as a whole.... We do not expect the situation to improve in 2023. The main thing is that it doesn't get much worse."
Author and illustrator Poonam Mistry (The Midnight Panther) is this year's designer of the Books Are My Bag limited-edition totebag, which will be available exclusively in bookshops across the U.K. and Ireland for Bookshop Day on October 14. The Booksellers Association noted that Mistry's "style incorporates her love of nature and explores the relationship between pattern, shapes and color creating beautifully intricate illustrations. Bought up around Indian fabrics, paintings and ornaments, she cites them as a source that heavily influences her work." She has collaborated with Penguin Random House, Tate Publishing, Buster Books, Hachette, and Michael O'Mara Books, among many others.
"I am delighted and honored to have been asked to design this year's Books Are My Bag tote," Mistry said. "Bookshops are wonderful and magical places that bring communities together and celebrate stories all around the world. I owe so much to booksellers and bookshops who do an amazing job championing all writers and artists. I hope everyone likes the design of the tote as much as I enjoyed illustrating it."
Emma Bradshaw, BA head of campaigns, commented: "We are delighted that Poonam has designed this year's incredibly eye-catching limited-edition bag. Her illustrations are absolutely beautiful and the detail is exquisite. They are going to look wonderful in bookshops with their beautiful colours and patterns."
"Sometimes life is a series of unfortunate events and it can feel a little hard to reconcile the bad stuff with the good," Canadian indie Iron Dog Books, Victoria, B.C., posted on Instagram over the weekend. "Our shop was broken into last night, which makes it two smashed windows on the truck and one break-in in four months. It's pretty heartbreaking for me, but also please know that our store is mostly ok--they didn't break the windows but rather pulled the cylinder on the lock, and there was no other vandalism, only a small amount of cash stolen. Our store is so fortunate that people like Angel, who owns Northstrong Locksmith, exist. He took my call at 7 a.m. and came right over, fixed my door up with a new lock and now we will be ready to start the day at 10 a.m. mostly as usual.
"This post is about all the stuff that happens behind the scenes at small businesses. The hidden costs, the stress and worry, the late-night and early-morning labor that is the scaffolding of success. I see you, neighborhood business folks. And to our customers, we would love to see you this weekend, even if it's just to stick your head in as you go by and wave. We could use a little boost from seeing all your friendly faces." --Robert Gray